2025 Kia EV3 aims for Chinese, European rivals with 600km of range

The Kia EV3 is the Korean brand’s new small electric SUV, with funky and chunky styling inspired by the larger EV5 and EV9.

The EV3 will go on sale in Korea in July, Europe later in 2024, and in other markets in 2025.

CarExpert understands it’ll arrive in Australia during the first half of 2025.

Electric vehicle (EV) demand may be cooling in some markets, but Kia is preparing a volley of EVs for volume segments. This includes not only the EV3 and previously revealed EV5 crossovers, but also the EV2 and EV4.

Kia aims to sell 200,000 EV3s annually, across markets as diverse as the US, Europe and Korea.

The EV3 measures 4300mm long, 1850mm wide and 1560mm tall on a 2680mm wheelbase, making it slightly shorter than the Niro EV.

It sits on a front-wheel drive version of Kia’s E-GMP platform, though Kia has confirmed a dual-motor all-wheel drive version is coming.

The EV3 will also be offered in GT guise, however Kia hasn’t confirmed when we’ll see it.

In the meantime, both Standard Range and Long Range models use a front-mounted electric motor with 150kW of power and 283Nm of torque, good for a 0-100km/h time of 7.5 seconds.

Kia says this grunt is sent to the ground smoothly thanks to Electric Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control.

The EV3 Standard Range has a 58.3kWh battery, while the Long Range has an 81.4kWh battery. All models have a 400V electrical architecture.

Kia claims the EV3 will offer best-in-class electric range of up to 600km in Long Range guise on the WLTP cycle.

It also says its battery can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent in approximately 31 minutes.

The EV3 debuts the latest version of Kia’s regenerative braking technology, called i-Pedal 3.0.

As with other Kia EVs, it also features Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) capability, allowing you to power small appliances and the like.

The EV3 closely resembles the EV3 concept revealed last year, though there are some detail changes like revised headlight internals and the addition of actual (flush-mounted) door handles.

Kia claims a drag coefficient of 0.263.

As is common with Kia vehicles, standard and GT-Line models feature different front and rear bumper treatments from each other.

The GT-Line features wheels with a similarly funky squared-off design, but with less in the way of brightwork, while the unique bumpers also eschew metal-look trim for a more blacked-out look.

Overall, the EV3 has a clear familial resemblance to the larger EV5 and EV9 SUVs with its vertically oriented headlights and angular tail lights and flared fenders.

It avoids looking like a shrunken version of either, however, with its more rounded roofline; Kia says the EV3 has a “hatchback-style tailgate”.

Nine exterior colours are available, two of which – Aventurine Green and Terracotta – have been designed exclusively for the EV3.

The EV3 features Kia’s first use of recycled plastics on the exterior, with the cladding containing a “certain amount” of recycled material.

There’s plenty more inside, with recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) used for the seats, headliner, floor mats and luggage board. There are also available PET-based fabric garnishes and armrests.

You’re not stuck with recycled PET trim, as this isn’t found in EV3s with the light grey interior colourway, while the available leatherette upholstery doesn’t contain any PET.

The cabin has a clear resemblance to the EV3 concept, but it’s much more conventional looking with actual switchgear. Kia says it has gone for a “living space-like ambience”.

While there’s no mint green interior like the concept, there are a range of other colourways comprising Subtle Grey, Warm Grey and Blue. Onyx Black is exclusive to the GT-Line.

As with the concept, there’s a digital instrument cluster and infotainment touchscreen in one assembly. These have a diameter of 12.3 inches, while in between sits a 5.0-inch climate control display.

A 12-inch head-up display sits ahead of the driver.

Underneath the touchscreen is a pair of vents, below which sits a single row of switches.

The centre console juts out but doesn’t connect with the centre stack, though it can fold out to become a table.

There’s 460L of space in the cargo bay, which has a two-tier luggage board, while there’s a 25L storage compartment under the bonnet.

Kia has designed the EV3 to be comfortable not only while driving, but also while you’re charging. In addition to the fold-out table, there are “relaxation” seats plus a Harman Kardon sound system and a range of streaming services accessible via the touchscreen.

The EV3 uses LG’s Automotive Content Platform powered by webOS, and therefore offers not only streaming services like YouTube but also arcade games.

You can use the Kia Connect Store to download apps as well as new themes for the car’s screens.

The EV3 is the next model after the K4 to feature Kia’s AI voice assistant, which the company says can “converse naturally with users”. In a promotional video, Kia showed the EV3’s system responding to questions like “Any suggestions for something fun to do this weekend?”

Other technology includes Kia’s Remote Smart Parking Assist, allowing you to manoeuvre the vehicle in or out of a parking space from outside, plus a suite of active safety equipment including autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist and Highway Driving Assist.

The EV3 is expected to join Kia’s growing EV lineup in Australia, which currently consists of the Niro EV, EV6 and EV9 and will soon include the EV5.

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